Woollahra has a rich and diverse history and natural setting that is represented in Victorian, Federation, Inter-war and post-1950 buildings, precincts and streetscapes. This environmental heritage has a local, regional and, in many instances, a nationally recognised level of significance.
There are approximately 700 heritage items, comprising individual buildings, structures, trees and landscape features. These items are protected by Woollahra Local Environmental Plan 1995 and various precinct development control plans. Some items have protection on the State Heritage Register under the NSW Heritage Act 1977. A number of items are protected under Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005. Nearly half of our heritage items are also listed by the National Trust of Australia (NSW).
Identifying and listing items of heritage significance are the first steps in protecting and managing places and objects that we, as a community, want to keep. Listing our special places on statutory heritage registers provides a legal framework to manage change to these significant places.
Heritage items and heritage conservation areas identified within the Municipality can be found as a list of properties in the Woollahra LEP - Schedule 3 or on the Woollahra LEP heritage conservation map (PDF, 2.3 MB)
Heritage items are defined as a building, work, tree or place which meets the NSW Heritage Office threshold for listing and is identified in Part A and Part B of Schedule 3 of Woollahra Local Environmental Plan, 1995. The place may demonstrate historical, scientific, cultural, social, archaeological, architectural, natural or aesthetic values for past, present or future generations.
Heritage item groups are defined as two or more heritage items that may or may not be located on one site, that have heritage significance individually and collectively and are identified in Part B of Schedule 3 of Woollahra LEP 1995.
Heritage items are also listed in Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005.
Proposed items, areas, archaeological sites and potential archaeological sites may also be listed in exhibited draft environmental planning instruments, which include draft local environmental plans.
If you are seeking to buy land it is very important that you read the section 149 planning certificate which must be attached to the sale contract by the vendor. This will identify if the property is a heritage item or included in an exhibited draft local environmental plan.
Heritage inventory sheets for heritage items can be found in the online at the NSW Heritage Office database.
Within the Woollahra Municipality there are a number of established heritage conservation areas (HCAs). These HCAs have been determined by a set of heritage values, which are particular to that area, distinguishing it from other places in the Municipality.
The boundaries of the fourteen HCAs currently identified within the Municipality can be located on the Woollahra LEP heritage conservation map (PDF, 2.3 MB).
There are three main HCAs: Paddington (see the Paddington Heritage Conservation Area DCP PDF, 3.4 MB), Watsons Bay (see the Watsons Bay Heritage Conservation Area DCP PDF, 7.2 MB) and Woollahra (see the Woollahra Heritage Conservation Area DCP PDF, 3.6 MB). Smaller HCAs are located in Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Bellevue Hill and Darling Point.
Significant items located within a heritage conservation area contribute to and exemplify the heritage significance of the place. They are identified as heritage items and contributory items.
Heritage items are items which are listed within Schedule 3 of Woollahra LEP 1995 (as defined above).
Contributory items are buildings, structures, sites, trees, places or settings which contribute to the heritage significance of a conservation area. A contributory item may have historic, aesthetic, social or scientific values, but will most typically have historic and/or aesthetic significance including streetscape value.
Groups of significant items are also identified within many of the HCAs. A group of significant items generally comprise a number of buildings which display similar characteristics such as architectural style, form, scale and details.
A section 149 planning certificate will also identify if a property is located within a HCA or in a proposed HCA under an exhibited draft local environmental plan.
Under the heritage provisions of Woollahra LEP 1995, the Council cannot grant consent to a development application involving certain development for a heritage item or certain development in a heritage conservation area without considering how the development would affect the heritage significance of the item or the area.
Furthermore, under the LEP provisions, the Council cannot grant consent to a development application involving certain development for a heritage item or certain development in a heritage conservation area unless it has considered a statement of heritage impact. A statement of heritage impact provides information that is used to assist the Council with its assessment and determination of these development applications.
Similar heritage provisions are contained in Sydney Regional Environmental Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005.
The Woollahra LEP 1995 contains heritage provisions which outline when development consent is required in relation to work carried out to heritage items and properties within a heritage conservation area.
Council's Exempt and Complying DCP (PDF, 500 KB) outlines what work to a heritage item or within a heritage conservation area does not require development consent. For example, general maintenance to a heritage item is considered 'exempt development'. For internal repairs and maintenance, the renovation of bathrooms and kitchens in a heritage item is not included as exempt development and would require development consent.
Council's heritage officers can provide pre-DA comments on heritage issues that might arise from a proposal.
Development applications which have heritage issues are referred to Council's Heritage Officers to provide comment in relation to the impact on cultural significance. Council's Heritage Officers receive about 250 development applications each year.
For heritage matters relating to development applications please contact:
Heritage Officer (Mon - Wed)
Phone: 9391 7069
Heritage Officer (Wed - Fri)
Phone: 9391 7084